I have been tattooing since 2000. Over time I have developed a passion for Polynesian style tattooing (tribal), black and grey work and portraits.
I prefer using black ink over color. This is because of the benefits which are; its quicker to tattoo with black and grey (less pain and less cost for the client), healing time is shorter, it allows for finer detail, and black ink ages better.
Color pigment gets broken down by exposure to UV light. This is not good in a sun soaked state like Florida. Black ink, on the other hand, holds up much better because it is carbon. Carbon has been broken down as much as it can be. Therefor the tattoo will show age due to your skin aging, not because of the sun.
Another thing most people dont realize, is that after the tattoo heals, the ink is now lying in the permanent layer of the skin, which is under the skin cells that contain melanin. So when you are looking at a tattoo, you are viewing it through a transparent layer of skin that is also colored by your natural pigmentation. This causes light colored inks in dark skin to be less visible.
I am very aware that my customers skin is the only one they have, so I try to give them a tattoo that they can be pleased with for the rest of their lives. In the cases where people ask me to tattoo something that isnt a style Im accomplished in or its an idea I can't get my head around, Id rather recommend another artist that I know would be more passionate or accomplished for that particular request. I truly have the clients best interest in mind.
Pricing: At the moment I charge $150 an hour and I charge only for the time it takes to tattoo the clients requested design. There is no fee for a consult or set up time. I charge by the hour because every project is different which makes it difficult to estimate accurately. I find in using an hourly charge, I am not underquoting or over quoting. On bigger projects, like sleeves or back pieces, this is especially the case.
How does the process of getting a large project like a sleeve or back piece evolve? The client and I will first have a consult where we can discuss the project in thorough detail. It helps to bring in as many visual references the client can find. This really helps me key into what that client has kicking around in their head. Once I have a thorough understanding of what the client is looking for, then we can schedule a few dates for tattooing. It is good to schedule a few appointments in advance because I do stay booked up. When getting multiple tattoo sessions, one needs about 2 weeks in between sessions for healing. Some people prefer more time for budgeting purposes.
When we start a big project, the first session is usually the longest because fitting the design (transfer and drawing on the skin) takes some time before we even get to the needles. Only when we are both happy with how the design fits the body do we begin tattooing. It is good to try to get all the line work done in the first session. This way it is mapped out" which saves time in future sessions where the client can come in and I can immediately start shading and filling in the design.
A 3 hour session seems to be a comfortable amount of time. After that it slowly starts to become a test of endurance. So most people will get their back piece/sleeves, etc. 3 hours at a time.
How long a sleeve or back piece will take overall depends on a few things; how open the design is ( finer detail = more time), whether it is a color piece verses black and grey (black and grey goes about 3 time faster than color), how still the client sits, skin type and how many smoke breaks the client takes. Some sleeves can be done as quickly as 5 sessions, but most average about 10, and a few take 15 or more. There isnt a whole lot of difference in the time it takes to tattoo a whole back verses a whole sleeve.
Why the name 8th Day Tattoo? I wanted a name that expresses how old the practice of tattooing is. The oldest intact body found with tattoos is over 5000 years old and when one studies the history of mankind it seems that tattooing was a very important part of every culture around the world, at least at some stage of time within each culture. For example, in Maori (native people of Aotearoa / New Zealand) legends about the beginning of time, tattoos are mentioned.
So ... on the 8th day people were poking each other with something sharp to mark the body in an indelible way.Tattooing has and will always be important because like any art form, it is a way to express something when words are inadequate.
So if you are reading this it is time to get tattooed. Give me a call